Sherry and I had the joy of worshiping with Pastor Brian Scramlin and the good folks at New Journey Community Church in Wabash. This church has a wonderful heart for its community and partners in creative ways to make an impact for the Kingdom. They’ve also done a terrific job converting an old school building into a contemporary ministry center. I had the privilege of bringing the morning message and then the LBA (local board of administration) took time for a brief meeting with me after the service. Sherry and I enjoyed hosting Pastor Brian, Jessica, and their two daughters for lunch.
Last Monday, I was in Hartford City to meet with Pastor Barry Taylor for a welcome lunch and an opportunity to learn more about his passion for church planting. Monday afternoon, I met with Bob Burchell to review the progress his team at Lakeview Wesleyan Church has been making on the action initiatives from their StratOp. Monday evening, I met with the StratOp team and was encouraged by the progress they are making on redesigning their process for welcoming guests and multiplying disciples.
Tuesday morning, I dropped by Fairmount Camp to check in on the staff at the Kids Camp before meeting with the pastoral staff at Lakeview Wesleyan Church. In our denomination, when a church is without a lead pastor, the DS provides more direct leadership until a supply or interim pastor is appointed (Discipline 1310:23) or a permanent pastor is secured. Our district office staff met before lunch and then I connected with another of our pastors over lunch.
Tuesday afternoon was my first chance to visit in Union City with Rev. John and Beth Hannan. John and Beth have sensed God’s call to launch a new ministry in their hometown after several years serving on loan with the United Methodist Church. We shared supper with their family and then John and I drove through the community. We closed the evening in prayer for the seeds they are planting and the vision-casting meeting they had planned for Friday.
Wednesday morning, I met with Jared Webb at Lakeview on follow-up items from StratOp. My next appointment was in Logansport to meet with Dr. Norm Wilson and Rev. Eliorgy Guerrero. We had a great conversation over lunch about ways to better support our Hispanic pastors and lay leaders, especially as we ramp up our church planting efforts. Dr. Norm Wilson and I were in Frankfort later in the afternoon to meet with Rev. Calemerio Rodriguez and Rev. Omar Gonzales (not related) to hear more about their vision for opening a door for ministry to Hispanics in Lafayette.
Wednesday evening, I was able to participate in the worship service at Frankfort Family Camp. Rev. David Duncan was the speaker of the evening and it was a blessing to reconnect with friends and team members. Many of the key volunteers come from our Crossroads District churches. Phil and Rhonda Foley are doing a wonderful job developing this effective, self-supporting ministry.
Thursday morning, I was back at Fairmount Camp to connect with Josh Delph, chair of the Board of Directors. I appreciate the way that Josh is stepping into this key leadership role. Josh and his team are working diligently to see the camp achieve its full potential. I was also able to drop in to hear Pastor Andy Cole (Lapel Daybreak Church) leading worship for Kids Camp. He and his team did a great job serving this week. Few things can compare with the pure, passionate worship of children!
I met with the creative team from Lakeview Wesleyan over lunch and then headed back to Upland to work from my home office. Friday morning, I met with Chris Williams for district planning and then Pastor Matthew Trexler joined us for lunch and follow-up from the StratOp projects that are moving forward.
Friday evening, I was delighted to hear from Pastor John Hannan. He and Beth knew that they had four families, who had expressed interested in the church planting vision, would be out of town. They were encouraged with more than a dozen who came out to learn more about launching a new Kingdom community in Union City.
Pastor John was invited to partner with Rev. Claudia Silva, our pastor in Richmond, who has been helping an independent Hispanic congregation in Union City. They baptized two new believers at the park and shared a fellowship lunch beside the lake. They are having conversations to explore other possibilities for working together to reach this community for Christ. If you’d like to follow along to hear more about the story that God is writing, you can catch their FaceBook page: CrossRoads Church in Union City
We love hearing the transformation stories from across the district team. Here’s a picture from Pastor Scott McDermid and the baptism service they celebrated last week at Six Points Church in Sheridan. Please pass along photos from your celebrations as we pray, believe and work together to see 1000 new believers baptized this conference year!
Churches like yours in the Crossroads District have a deep commitment to global missions. I want to encourage you to take 3 minutes and 24 seconds to watch this video for an exciting challenge from Steve Mathews, one of our district directors for Global Partners. Here’s the link: Steve Mathews – Crossroads GP Partnerships
Keep on making a difference in the cause that counts for eternity!
Your servant in Christ,